Son Goku does technically appear on “Naruto: Shippuden.” But the appearance isn’t some MCU multiverse setup from Shonen Jump. Instead of the Saiyan warrior hopping in to test his mettle against Madara Uchiha or the members of Akatsuki, the series features a character with the same name as the famous “Dragon Ball” hero. However, when we break down some exciting details about Son Goku on “Naruto,” it’s evident how much of a love letter the character is to his “Dragon Ball” counterpart. The Four-Tailed Beast Son Goku makes a significant appearance in Episode 326 (via Crunchyroll), chained up but lively and proudly introducing himself to Naruto as the “King of the Sage Monkeys.”
Son Goku looks like a giant ape, which is a reference to the Saiyan Great Ape form from “Dragon Ball.” Like the Great Ape, the Tailed-Beast Son Goku can spew some chakra-rooted attacks, notably the Monkey Flame Arson (via Narutopedia). It has an uncanny similarity to the Great Ape’s mouth energy attacks. The fact that the beast sports four tails could also reference the four-star Dragon Ball that Goku got from his grandpa Gohan. And finally, Son Goku’s Jinchūriki is a shinobi named Roshi. Roshi and Son Goku’s conversation in “Naruto manga chapter 572” (via Viz) indicates that their relationship is a bit complex compared to the Turtle Hermit and Goku in “Dragon Ball.” But it’s still a great parallel, especially because in a pivotal “Dragon Ball” episode, Roshi brings Goku under control from his Great Ape form by infamously blowing up the moon.